Nem nuong: barbecued minced pork patties

Classic Vietnamese meat patties.

Nem nuong: barbecued minced pork patties

Recipe type: , ,
Preparation time: 2 h
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 2h 20mins
Serves: 4-6

Aka nem nướng. There are a lot of ways to do this: notably, whether you put baking soda in or not (baking soda makes it more bouncy, but I’m not a big fan of using it). The traditional version of this involves pounding the meat into a paste, either by hand or with a food processor. Given how easy it is to get minced meat, though, I feel like I’d rather spend more time eating than following tradition, even if it means the feeling of the meat will be a little off compared to the traditional version.
(hum, OK. Looking in my Vietnamese cookbook suggests that what I mean by “traditional version” might be off, since the recipe includes shrimp and what looks like two cuts of pork I can’t quite identify, in addition to a banana and a starfruit…)

(recipe adapted from Bach Ngo’s The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam)

For the dipping sauce: see here for nước chấm and here for nước lèo.

Nem nuong: barbecued minced pork patties
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Classic Vietnamese meat patties.
  • 500g minced pork
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Sprinkling of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thính, roasted rice powder (see below)
  • For dipping: Nước mắm or nước lèo
  1. Chop up the garlic and the onions.
  2. Mix everything (except the dipping sauce!) into a bowl, and let the mixture rest for 2 hours.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Shape one tablespoon of mixture into a flat patty, and put it on aluminum on the oven grate. Repeat until you run out of meat.
  5. Put the oven on broiling mode, and grill for 10-15 minutes, until brown. Then turn the patties over, and grill the other side.
  6. Serve with rice papers, salad, soy and a selection of herbs (coriander, rau ram, mint,red perilla, hung que/Thai basil...): each guest takes a rice paper, dips it in water, and lays it on the table. Then they add meat, salad, soy, and whatever herbs they feel, before rolling into a cylinder shape. Dip into nước mắm, and enjoy!
To make roasted rice powder, take two tablespoons of rice grains, and put them on a frying pan on medium-high heat. Keep stirring the grains until they turn golden, then immediately take the pan off the heat (the rice will continue cooking for a few moments, until it cools down, so you don't want the powder burnt). Then grind to as fine a powder as you can manage, either with a spice mill or a mortar and pestle.